Hi! You've found Daily Info's archived Oxford Nightclubs Guide. For CURRENT info,
click here for Oxford Pubs & Bars;
here for Oxford Pub & Club events;
here for Oxford Gig Listings
or here for our Oxford Gig Venue Guide (info for promoters/bands). Cheers!

Almost all of the information below is out of date. (See the links above for current info.)
However, we like to think it is charmingly so, and has therefore become retro, or perhaps even kitsch, like flared trousers or lava lamps. Either way, we leave it as an amusing time capsule of the Oxford clubbing scene in the mid-noughties. Enjoy!

The Atlantic Bar
•27 Park End Street

Thurs-Sat, 9pm-2am
Formerly the (and, longer ago, a) Jam Factory, the Atlantic Bar plays host to drum & bass, salsa, jive and other eclectic nights when it feels like it (as far as we can tell). It has an 8,000 watt system but unfortunately not a lot of atmosphere.

Bar Baby
213 Cowley Road / 3 King Edward St

Tel: 202506 / 515910 / 200011
Daily: 5.30-11pm (Sun 5.30-10.30pm)

The Bars Baby, whilst serving delicious cocktails, are perhaps better known for the posing value of their clientele and the fact that the Cowley Rd. branch has a controversial lapdancing licence. Sporting ultra-chic leather furnishings in retro colour schemes and wall art straight out of Dazed & Confused, at peak times both bars are usually rammed full of young darlings. If you aren't dressed 'right' you won't be turned away but you will possibly get some funny looks. Music is along the lines of drum and bass and electroclash, and you will see some name DJs occasionally. Cowley Rd Baby is a popular pre-Zodiac venue; Baby Love has a glass dancefloor which you need to pass under to reach the unisex toilets. Need we say more.

Bullingdon Arms
162 Cowley Road

Tel: 244516
Mon-Wed 12pm-12am, Thu-Sat 12pm-2am, Sun 12-11.30pm
A fairly wide spectrum of music, from Led Zeppelin tribute bands and an excellent monthly comedy night (Sun - keep your eye on Daily Info Gig listings) to weekly live jazz (Tues, free, and thus very busy after 10pm), drum & bass and soul/funk/dance/bands (Fri/Sat). Spit and sawdust feel appropriate to the large black backroom in a pub (280 capacity). You'll probably know it if it's your kind of thing. If you don't, approach the Bullingdon in the spirit of adventure.
182 Cowley Road

Tel. 245999
Closed as of autumn 2006...watch this space. Or read the note on their door.
The Bridge
6-9 Hythe Bridge Street

Tel: 242526
Thur-Sat 9pm-2am
Formerly a private members club, you can now experience chart nonsense on Thursdays, rather more credible dance on Fridays and pop and dance on Saturdays. A classier alternative to Park End et al. Its sister bar, Anuba, is behind it on Park End Street.
Cellar Bar
Frewin Court, Cornmarket

Tel: 244761
Mon-Wed 5-11pm, Thur-Sat 6pm-2am, closed Sun
Host to fairly wide-ranging dance music nights - the hip-hop & drum & bass being particularly popular - and eclectic live gigs, from local indie-pop & rock to electro, countryfunk & folk. Next to the Purple Turtle, to which it occasionally serves as an overspill. In contrast, it's generally a venue where people go for the music rather than the random snogs, however. DJ's Thursday to Friday, entrance varies accordingly from £2 - £6, normally hovering around the £4 mark.
15 St Clements

Tel: 247214
Weds 9pm-1am, Thur 9pm-2am, Fri-Sat 9pm-3am
Formerly Club Latino, and retaining some of its previous character, playing a mix of chart tunes, RnB and funky world music. Popular with Oxford's latin population, we are told, and busy with small queues on the weekends, we haven't been there, so if you know about it, please let us know.
Cock and Camel
24-26 George St

Tel: 203705
Mon-Sat 11am-11pm, Sun 11am-10.30pm
A Young's pub that taps into a townier element than the other Young's flagship in the centre, the Kings Arms. More café-bar than pub, the Blue Room downstairs (open Friday & Saturday only) has guest DJ's and a lively, clubby feel (though can get very sweaty).
Coven II
Oxpens Road
Tel: 242770
A good all-rounder, host to fairly big name hard house DJs occasionally and scene of Oxford's most famous gay night (every Friday). Host also to Oxford's mentalist monthly psy-trance party night, Baraka, now in its 7th year.
Down Town Manhattan (DTM)
3 George St
Tel: 721101

Otherwise known as DTM's. Expect very great amounts of drunkenness and lechery. A place of some legend within the annuls of Oxford University's freshers' week. Either closed or closing soon, Mar 2006 (please let us know, as we wouldn't go near it with a bargepole).

Duke of Cambridge
5-6 Little Clarendon St
Tel: 558173
Mon-Sat 12-11pm,
Sun 12-10.30pm
This bar earns its place on this page by virtue of its legendary cocktail happy hour(s). With fantastic cocktails in a snazzy environment, the Duke can get rib-crushingly busy at these hours (5ish-8). Avoid the rush by arriving early and buying those cocktails in bulk. Does a delectable lunch and brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.

9a High St (above Covered Market Ave. 1)
Tel: 248480
Mon-Sat 5pm-late

Escape is the newest truly central trendy bar, doing food and danceable music. Big leather chairs and swanky lighting; slightly Moroccan theme. Lurks upstairs via a passageway into the Covered Market off the High Street. Happy hour til 9pm.
The Exeter Hall
1 Oxford Road (between Cowley Rd & Cowley Centre)
Tel: 01865 776431
•til 1am Thu-Sat, 12am Sun
A large pub which has made itself a great venue for live music (with a full refit in summer 2006 to boot) despite being fairly far from the centre. Local bands of all different kinds have made this place their home, and it has a friendly, welcoming atmosphere as a result. £3 entry on Fri & Sat; incredibly, it's still free otherwise. The website is a mine of information about the acts you are likely to see. On bus routes 5 and 1 towards Cowley from the city centre.
119 Walton Street
Tel: 01865 311171
Mon-Tues 11am-12am, Wed 11am-1pm, Thur-Sat 11am-2am, Sun 11am-10.30pm
The most aesthetically impressive drinking venue in Oxford, Freud's is a converted church located in Jericho & features art installations of varying quality juxtaposed with soaring classical architecture. Live music (of the gentle backround-to-eating kind, except on weekends when it gets more dance-orientated) happens daily - see Gigs for details. Very popular - arrive early at the weekend or be prepared to queue.

HiLo (Jamaican Eating House)
68-70 Cowley Road
Tel: 725984
Generally until 2am

Yet another minor legend, here mainly by virtue of its mysterious and hospitable opening hours. With no discernable menu (although you definitely can get food, from curried goat & plantains to cheese sandwiches), and run by a husband and wife team who definitely don't qualify for the Richard and Judy marital bliss award (on a visit a few years ago they seemed to be setting about each other with meat cleavers), this has possibly the scruffiest interior and exterior imaginable. Nevertheless, it's a jewel in the crown of Cowley Road. Cheap(ish) drinks, late hours, freaky charisma in bucketloads.
The Imperial Nightclub
27 Park End Street,
Tel: 01865 794900
Generally until 2am
New 2007. Some live music events and rather swish sofas. Themed student nights (e.g. International Night, Tues) & live local radio broadcasts. VIP area with waitress service & table reservations. Dancers perform on selected nights. Live music events. Cocktails. There are sofas. Wheelchair friendly. Wifi Access.
The Jericho
Walton Street
Tel: 311775
Call venue for details
This recently revamped (2005) and heavily Oxford-music-themed venue (huge portraits of John Peel, Supergrass & Radiohead - who started playing here - cover the walls) hosts live gigs and DJs and gets very busy on the weekend (it's the only dancing venue in Jericho apart from Freud's). Drinks are expensive (this is more like a London Belgian beer bar than your average local) and decent food (including impressive burgers) is available.
3-5, Hythe Bridge Street
Thur 7.30pm-2am, Fri 7.30pm-2am, Sat 7.30pm-2am
A comedy club serving food and drinks, Jongleurs also has a late disco. Click here to find listings on the Jongleurs website. Sets and tables must be booked in advance. Hosts Monday gay club night Trick (Monday 10pm–2am), £3 entry (funky house, pop, dance). (Feb 2006)

Kiss Bar
Park End St (next to Park End club)
Tel: 01865 200555
til 2am Fri, Sat, Sun

Tiny corridor-like venue with occasional live bands (heaven knows how they fit them in) and DJs. Much frozen vodka. Little more is known about it by us - do let us know.
92 Cowley Road
Tel: 01865 244404
until 12am or 1am weekends
Formerly The Globe. Decent cocktails, food, open mic sessions in the basement and DJ nights. Clientele varies widely in accordance with musical genre. Upstairs is open-plan, fishbowl-esque and loungy, downstairs poky and bunkerish.
Merton's Bar
73 High Street
Tel: 249065
Mon-Sat 11am-2am, Sun 11am-11pm
Restaurant & late bar. Probably due to its location (in the late venue desert between the start of east Oxford and the end of the town centre), queues at the weekend are a certainty, as is an entrance fee. Drinks are expensive and service slow. However, on balance, and crippling costs aside, it is a remarkably civilised place to procure a late night drink, especially if you can bag the sofa.
Love Bar
3 King Edward St
Now Baby Love - see Baby above.
29-31 George Street
Tel: 01865 726036
Slick underground cocktail lounge with a distinct RnB bias. Entry would appear to be prohibited if you are sporting denim or trainers, which would seem to exclude about 60% of the under 30 population in Oxford. Still, if you like that kind of thing, Mood is probably just the place to take your 'laydee'.
Park End
Park End Street
Tel: 250181
Vast and throbbing, Park End has a formidable reputation as the venue for random snogs (apart from Fuzzy Ducks at the Zodiac on Wednesdays, of course). Chart music, some biggish name DJs, relatively cheap drinks, but often prohibitively long queues. Leave your dignity at home.
Po Na Na
13-15 Magdalen Street (next to Odeon Cinema)
Tel: 249171
Po Na Na 'souk bar' is an underground cocktail purveyor, its cosy lantern-lit alcoves providing a Moroccan flavour (like a clubbier version of the Kazbar). PNN is fairly popular with students, townsfolk and tourists alike, and is one of your best bets if you're new to Oxford. Plays host to some top-name DJs and live acts occasionally; otherwise regular DJ nights.
The Port Mahon
82 St Clements
Tel: 01865 202067
Noon-11pm daily
Not a nightclub or late bar, this small upper room in a pub is included on the basis of its live gigs, which happen almost every night of the week, and are fantastically varied (from acoustic sets from faded popstars of the 1980s to the Friday night Oxford folk club) and of a high quality. Dancing will occasionally occur too. Entry is £1-£5. Details on our Gig listing pages.
Purple Turtle
Frewin Court, Cornmarket Street
Tel: 247086
Mon-Sat 11am-2am
This is in the old cellars of the Oxford Union, and is thus generally affiliated, so non-Union members have to pay entrance from Thurs-Sat. Queues do happen, so get there before closing time. Drinks are pub prices, and music is filtered throughout the series of caverns by the jukebox. There is a dance floor, scene of some of the most unintentionally hilarious dancing/leching I have ever seen. There is table football and the walls are sweaty. The gem in its crown is the Beard Museum, an excellent live music showcase on the last Sunday of each month.
32 Walton Street
Tel: 553732
Yet another venue once revelling in glorious seediness (cf. Mood above) which has been heavily swankified relatively recently. Great cocktails, happy hour, light lunches, jam-packed of a Friday night etc., etc. Marvel at the unbelievably tiny Bose speakers which make up the bar's soundsystem and the odd looks you can get if you're not dressed 'right' (cf. Baby).
The Studio
35 Westgate Centre
Tel: 245136

See DTM's / Park End (the same comments are about 80% likely to apply).

7/8 Park End Street
Tel: 242044
Cashes in on the 'Duke of Cambridge phenomenon' with a ludicrously long happy hour. Drinks aren't quite as good, but the interior is trendier. DJ provides music a little too loud to talk to anyone over, but too quiet to dance too, except on weekends when it often becomes a very small and very entertaining club. Friendly and worth a visit, particularly on a Sunday night (when weekend clubbers who haven't yet had enough seem to descend upon it for their final fix). Good Bloody Marys. This is, remarkably enough, still accurate. For now. 11/12/09
The Zodiac
190 Cowley Road
Tel: 420042
Mon-Fri 7pm-2am, Sat 8.30pm-2am, Sun too...
A slightly grubby, quintessentially Cowley Road locale with a rootsy edge, Oxford's premier live music venue is also one of the town's busiest clubs. Home to increasingly famous as well as up-and-coming new & local bands, world music, benefit gigs and even poetry nights (Hammer & Tongue, first Tues of each month). Its varied dance nights include drum and bass, techno, house & trance, indie and soul/funk, rock and the legendarily atrocious Fuzzy Ducks. The website is well worth a visit. Will reopen as the Oxford Carling Academy in September 2007. This information is so comprehensively out of date that to change it would be an act of vandalism, akin to cleaning a 16th century painting with nail polish remover. Briefly, the Carling Academy is now the 02 Academy, Hammer and Tongue has moved to Cafe Tarifa (also on the Cowley Road) and Fuzzy Ducks remains as the weekly club night (whether it remains atrocious we leave as a personal decision). 11/12/09